First Time DUI Offense: Consequences and Defense Lawyers

Hundreds of nightclubs and parties illuminate the Southern California night on any given weekend. Clubs stretching from Los Angeles to Orange County become hotspots for partygoers wanting to escape the confines of their day-to-day grind. The nightlife is filled with alcohol, making for a dangerous combination of half-drunk adults with a license to drive. After a few drinks, most adults claim they “feel fine” to drive home, yet what many of them may not be aware of is they are actually over the legal limit. Most drivers are unaware of the strict fines imposed on Californian drivers, and with some of the harshest fines in the country, drivers face serious consequences.

What Happens If You Get Pulled Over

If you’ve been drinking and an officer stops you, you will more than likely be given a sobriety test. The officer will use the breathalyzer test to determine if you are over the legal limit of .08% blood to alcohol concentration. If you are over the limit, the officer will then revoke your license and issue you a pink slip that will serve as a temporary license good for 30 days. Once the 30 days are up, your license will either be suspended for four months or you will plead to a misdemeanor, or have all charges dropped.

Suspended License

Most individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor DUI will also have their licensed suspended. A suspended license prevents you from operating a motor vehicle, and in Southern California that makes for one giant headache. You cannot drive to the store. You cannot drive to a friend’s house. You cannot even drive to work. You will have to depend on someone else to drive you to work or to complete errands for four months. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you will get fined and may even go to jail for up to six months.

Consequences of a DUI

A DUI will be placed on your permanent required for ten years, while DUIs are considered misdemeanors, you will still be arrested and will be forced to either do jail time, pay fines, do community service or attend an alcohol education program. However, in order to avoid many of the consequences, most people will hire an attorney near their area, such as a DUI attorney to represent them.

Benefits of Hiring a DUI Attorney

You may choose not to hire an attorney and accept a misdemeanor, pay the fines and attend the required classes. However, with an attorney, you can have someone mitigate the charges and lessen the amount of legal problems you may have. On your scheduled court date, an attorney will represent you on your behalf and most often plead not guilty. The attorney will attempt to have all charges removed, if possible, and help you keep your license.

Certified attorneys are available all over Southern California, however, not all are certified DUI attorneys. You want a lawyer who is competent in DUI laws to ensure your rights are protected. Even if you live in Los Angeles, you can still contact an DUI attorney to get help, but no one can help you if you do not contact an attorney.